Attila Supka is looking forward to leading Budapest Honvéd FC back into the UEFA Cup while NK Zrinjski's Blaž Slišković is savouring his side's trip to Belgrade.
Attila Supka is looking forward to leading Budapest Honvéd FC back into the UEFA Cup while NK Zrinjski's Blaž Slišković is savouring a trip to Belgrade following the draw for the first qualifying round in Nyon.
Back in the UEFA Cup for the first time since 2004/05, Hungarian Cup winners Honvéd have been drawn against Moldova's FC Nistru Otaci in the first qualifying round. Supka said: "We know some things about our opponents - they finished third in the league, were losing finalists in the domestic cup, and their coach is the former head coach of Moldova. We are not going to have an easy game but we do believe we will win - it is also promising that the first leg is away."
Happy hunting ground
One of the most intriguing ties of the round sees Bosnia-Herzegovina's Zrinjski drawn against FK Partizan of Serbia. In the days of the former Yugoslavia, the Mostar side's coach Slišković visited Belgrade many times as a player with FK Velež and HNK Hajduk Split, and he was looking forward to going back. "We got a very difficult draw but we will not give up before the game," he said. "As a player I always did well in Belgrade so I think my players will too."
Slišković will be on familiar ground, which will hardly be the case for Austria's SV Mattersburg as they face a long trip east to take on FK Aktobe of Kazakhstan. Coach Franz Lederer said: "It is one of most exotic ties we could have got." Slovakian side FC Vion Zlaté Moravce will be heading even further east to face FC Alma-Ata near the border with China. "It is the worst team we could have got," sighed coach Ján Rosinský. "Kazakhstan a long way away and Alma-Ata play good football."
Draws against some of Europe's smallest sides have made some coaches happy. PFC Litex Lovech's Ferrario Spasov was delighted to see his side paired with Malta's Sliema Wanderers FC, although he insisted his side "would not underestimate the opposition". It is a feeling endorsed by Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC captain Avi Nimni whose side were coupled with Andorran runners-up FC Santa Coloma. "This is more or less a comfortable draw but we must still treat it with the utmost seriousness," he said. The final word goes to Drogheda United FC manager Paul Doolin who summed up the mood after his charges drew San Marino's SP Libertas, saying: "It's a big game, no doubt about it. All the lads are looking forward to it."